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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Chandelure EX  

- Legendary Treasures

Date Reviewed:
November 20, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.67
Limited: 4.73

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being the worst. 
3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating.

Back to the main COTD Page

Combos With: See Below

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Chandelure EX (Legendary Treasures) 

Not since the days of SP have we seen a Stage 2 Pokémon appear as a Basic, but Chandelure seems to be the first in a whole new wave of such Pokémon, with Venusaur, Blastoise, and their Mega evolutions to follow in the first XY set. Oh well, I suppose it’s one way to make these Pokémon playable. 

Except that it hasn’t completely worked for Chandelure. The attacks aren’t terrible exactly, they just fall a bit short of what is needed to compete. Take Cursed Drop, for example: it’s a very cheap, very flexible attack that offers some nice snipe/spread opportunities. Placing damage counters (as opposed to doing attack damage) can also be a handy way of dodging certain blocking effects like Klinklang PLS’s Plasma Steel. Meanwhile, Eerie Glow is pretty expensive for only 70 damage, although it does give you two automatic Status Conditions with which to annoy your opponent. 

The trouble with these attacks (ironically) is that they aren’t well suited to an EX Pokémon that gives up two Prizes when it is knocked out. Wars between EXs tend to be brutal and short: if you are taking 200 to the face from a Black Kyurem EX or 180 from Darkrai (thanks to Chandelure’s horrible Weakness), then fiddling about with a handful of damage counters or some Status effects is all a bit futile really and certainly not enough for Chandelure to be able to trade with the big boys of the format. Yeah, there are some combos you could try (Ninetales DRX to exploit the Burn and Confusion, Chandelure NEX to pile on the damage counters), but none seem particularly efficient or effective. As of now, a playable Stage 2 EX is still something we are yet to see. 

Rating 

Modified: 2 (underpowered and vulnerable is not what you want from an EX)

Limited: 4.5 (You can wall and spam Cursed Drop to great effect here)


Otaku

For our week of Honorary Mentions, cards that didn’t quite make either the Top 5 Reprints or Top 5 New Cards of BW: Legendary Treasures, we have Chandelure EX. 

Pokémon-EX shaped the last format extensively, becoming the dominant force.  Of course, even before that the regular Basic Pokémon of the BW sets were still the dominant attackers.  Even with multiple forms of Pokémon-EX counters, they are still the dominant source of attackers and unfortunately, I don’t have the data on whether or not the rule change leveled the playing field between Basics and Pokémon-EX. 

I may not have to in order to review Chandelure EX.  Being a Psychic-Type probably won’t help out in terms of support but can be useful for hitting Weakness on opposing Mewtwo EX.  170 HP remains the second highest printed for Pokémon-EX and is relatively good; it isn’t out of OHKO range but most decks won’t be able to hit this amount repeatedly, reliably. 

Chandelure EX lacks the usual Psychic Weakness (owing to its videogame Typing) but that isn’t a huge favor as it possess Darkness Weakness instead; Darkness-Types are possibly the best supported Type and the doubling will likely turn what would have been 2HKOs into OHKOs.  No Resistance is the worst Resistance, but also the most common.  Plus even if some had been present, it likely wouldn’t have made a major different in match-ups: exploiting Resistance is no where near as easy or rewarding as exploiting Weakness.  Wrapping up the bottom Stats is the Retreat Cost: two is not terrible, but as most decks rarely pay to manually Retreat (even though changing out your Active is often important), being a little less expensive the Pokémon that could tap Heavy Ball seems negligible. 

Chandelure EX has two attacks; the first requires (P) and allows you to place four damage counters as you wish on your opponent’s Pokémon.  The wording is such that you can put all four on the same target or divide them among multiple targets.  This isn’t bad, but it isn’t enough to build a deck around.  Besides the weakening of early game attacks due to the new rules, you’ll never be able to enjoy Weakness when hitting an Active… which is often the bread and butter of early game attacks. 

Eerie Glow requires (PPC), which means most forms of Energy acceleration won’t create a huge swing; some specific forms can still help but don’t expect to reliably jump from zero to Eerie Glow in a single turn.  You get 70 points of damage in addition to guaranteed Burn and Confusion.  This isn’t a bad combination; you could still use Hypnotoxic Laser with it to get even more damage… but you’ve got to use combos to get the damage to a useful level. 

In the end this doesn’t seem to be enough to justify playing it.  If you really insist, I would consider Benching Volcarona (BW: Dark Explorers 22/108; BW Promo BW40) for its Ability, Hypnotoxic Laser, and Virbank City Gym.  Your opponent will face 70 points of base damage, three more damage counters guaranteed from enhanced Poison damage, and a 50% chance of four damage counters from Burn for a probably OHKO against Psychic Weak Pokémon and “okay” damage against most else.  With no Weakness or Resistance, you’re looking at a 140/100 split (based on the Burn check).  If your opponent can’t ditch Confusion and fails that check when attacking, you’ll both avoid taking any damage and tack another two damage counters on to make it a 160/120 split. 

That isn’t enough for the effort; factor in vulnerabilities to popular Darkrai EX based decks and possibility that Virizion EX usage could prevent the usual reliable damage boost from Hypnotoxic Laser in addition to the “maybe” boost from Burn, and it becomes even less appealing.  I would not recommend the card for Unlimited – while it’s high HP makes it less likely to be donked via damage counter placement strategies that is about all I can see it offering here. 

For Limited, it is a great pull; you can and should chance a “+39” build if all you want to do is enjoy this card (and no other Pokémon use pulled).  You’ll be in trouble if you encounter an opponent running Sigilyph (BW: Legendary Treasures 66/113) due to its Safe Guard, Darkrai EX (BW: Legendary Treasures 88/113), or Zoroark (BW: Legendary Treasures 90/113), but otherwise should rarely fail to outpace your opponent on damage and Prizes as you can begin attacking for a single Energy and target the Bench if you need to, then switch to solid damage with a chance of protection (via Confusion) when appropriate.  Not much of a reason to run it in a “real” Limited deck unless it was already focused on using Psychic Energy. 

Ratings 

Unlimited: 1.25/5 

Modified: 1.75/5 

Limited: 4.95/5 

Summary

This is a card to appreciate for its art, or if you thought it was a good idea to expand the Pokémon-EX mechanic from “Legendary” Basic Pokémon to other cards.  Chandelure EX does some interesting things, but not well enough to expect to win.  I didn’t even consider it worth an honorable mention for my Top 5 New Cards list, though it would have made a Top 10 due to lack of material.


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